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How to get sustainable clothing on a student budget

Sustainable clothing is a new wave of fashion which uses materials that are sustainable for the environment, both environmentally and socially.

It's a response to the fast fashion industry which makes products using cheap materials and pays workers low wages. But as you may know shopping sustainably can break your bank, and if you're a student I'm pretty sure it's not at the forefront of your mind. So here are some ways you can get well made sustainable clothing without delving deep into your bank.

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The true cost of fashion is not reflected in the price you pay for it! Fast fashion has transformed the way we shop, live and desire. This consumerism has resulted in lower costs, which we celebrate, and devastatingly irreversible environmental and health impacts on some of the most vulnerable people in the world, which we ignore. If you haven’t had a chance to watch the documentary “The True Cost”, go and watch it. Awareness is important and hopefully you can find ways to help make positive changes - even small ones in your own closet. . . . . . . . . #truth #realtalk #fashion #style #fastfashion #thetruecost #health #wellness #feminist #equality #politics #world #earth #environment #climatechange #change #bethechange #mood #bossbabe #knowledge #growth #awareness #vegan #veganlife #vegansofig #ootd #documentary

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But there are ways...
Charity shops and flea markets are your best friends

You can get some really nice, vintage clothing by thrifting it and it's very sustainable! I have a few charity shops down the high street where I live and besides being half-filled with china ornaments and VHS' they do have some great steals. But be minimal in this sense. Look at an item of clothing and think "Will I ACTUALLY wear this?" If the answer's no, then be on your merry way.


Now, this might sound scary because it does involve sewing and needles and thread... but it can also be very rewarding and, of course, sustainable. If your trousers are a bit loose, then don't go to New Look to get another pair, instead, alter them at home, or ask someone you know to do it. This is very sustainable as you are redoing your own clothing rather than buying from a fast-fashion store. Plus you might find you're a dab hand with a needle and thread and it can quickly become a hobby.

Sample sales of sustainable clothing brands are a clever way to get what you want for a much cheaper price

But be warned: they can get a bit lairy, so make sure you're prepared for that ugly side of things often depicted in American rom-coms! Besides this, sample sales can have really on-trend clothing for a reduced price. People Tree is one such brand that specialises in Fairtrade and sustainable fashion that often hold sample sales in London—check here to see if there are any upcoming sample sales. Sample sales are also great ways of finding designer clothing for dramatically reduced prices so it's a win-win situation.

So why should you shop sustainably?

If you haven't heard, the environment is really suffering at this current moment, and this is partly due to consumerization. Big brands are using cheap resources and paying workers low wages to create on-trend goods, often of low quality, which end up on our high streets only to be disposed of when the next trend comes along—essentially fast fashion. The clothes are not sustainable and the workers are treated poorly which is not ethically right. Moreover, all of this does not help the environment as it is depleting the Earth of its resources, and, the fashion industry is the second-largest polluter in the world. How? Well, there are many reasons why fast fashion harms the earth.

Firstly, countries were the majority of fast fashion garments are made, toxic wastewater from the process are being dumped in their rivers. Therefore polluting the waters for the country and in the long run polluting the ocean.

Microfibres also come off of cheaper garments when we wash them, and these end up in the ocean. These are then consumed by fish and other ocean animals which introduces plastic into the food chain.

Carbon emissions are also a by-product of fast fashion. In fact, 10% of carbon emissions come from the apparel industry. The emissions can come from the production, manufacturing and transportation of such garments, thus contributing to global warming.

Here are some sustainable brands which you can look into:

1. Reformation - the ultimate cute girl website, and more importantly a seller of ONLY sustainable clothing.

2. PACT sell really soft basics which will be staples in your wardrobe.

3. Alternative apparel - this brand makes clothes out of recycled materials. Truly sustainable.

4. Project Pico - a brand which pays its workers a fair wage.

Shopping sustainably has never been so easy! You can up-cycle your clothes, thrift your clothes or buy entirely new and sustainable clothing. Either way, save the planet and support businesses that treat their workers fairly.